MAPATS ("Portable Anti-Tank System") is an anti-tank solution manufactured by Israel Military Industries (IMI) of concern to Israel. The weapon is more of a complete "battlefield system" than the launcher or missile itself.
The complete kit includes the missile, launcher, tripod assembly and necessary optics. Special training is required to reach the full potential of this weapon. While the MAPATS weapon system is classified as a "human-portable" solution, it also has the capability to be mounted on a variety of vehicles, including all-terrain, open-top JEEP types.
In many respects, MAPATS mimics the US TOW-2 family of anti-tank missiles and has proven effective in its given role.
The operation of the MAPATS system is that the operator manually initiates the launch procedure and then freely launches the missile from the launch tube to that target, the launcher being jettisoned shortly after launch. The operator must then place a reticle within the optical assembly directly on the center mass of the target, while the missile fires the projected beam from the infrared laser directly onto the target.
After impact and subsequent penetration, the 156mm rocket detonated properly. The missile maintains a constant course correction via its onboard autopilot, which is tuned to the projected beam. MAPATS comes with night vision/low light support for after-hours work.
In addition to being used for anti-tank capabilities, MAPATS can also be used against low-flying, slow-moving air targets, although this particular tactic requires steady hands and excellent timing while avoiding danger. The elevation angle of the truss system is limited to +30 degrees. Due to its laser mount capability, MAPATS missiles cannot be blocked or countered by typical electronic jammers or chaff/torch dispenser solutions.
The effective range is between 300 and 6,000 meters. Capable of penetrating armor up to 1,200mm thick, providing basic steel protection, the missile is powered by a two-stage solid-fuel rocket motor.
All MAPATS missiles are shipped in factory sealed containers. The entire unit is then inserted into the launcher, and when the missile is fired, the container is left behind and removed from the launch tube, eventually replaced with another sealed unit ready to fire. The process takes only a few seconds and allows anti-tank teams to attack multiple targets (or one target multiple times) if necessary. The portability of the design allows teams to move from one vantage point to another.
The inherent recoil of such devices limits their indoor use for safety reasons.
MAPATS has been in service since 1984, units are manufactured on demand and supplied directly to the Israel Defense Forces. Several foreign parties, including Chile, Ecuador, Estonia and Venezuela, have also procured large quantities of the type.
A modernized version of the weapon system appeared in the 1990s, including changes such as an improved steering method and a new propulsion motor. Various warheads have also been developed, including the standard tandem HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) and HE (High Explosive) types, the latter of which are used to attack solid bunker positions.
The name "MAPATS" is also the Hebrew word for "explosion".
1,450 mm (57.09 in)
1,450 mm (57.09 in)
Laser guided, tube fired
16,400 ft (4,999 m; 5,467 yd)
MAPATS - name of the base series
MAPATS (1990) - An improved MAPATS system with improved laser guidance features and a new rocket motor.